What Is the VA Prescription Benefit?


Quick Answer

The VA prescription benefit provides needed medications for qualifying veterans, reports the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans with service-connected disabilities may receive free medications, while others pay a copayment for every 30-day prescription. The prescription benefit supplies medications prescribed by VA primary health care providers, as well as prescriptions from non-VA providers under certain circumstances.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, veterans who have a service-related disabilities, former prisoners of war and other veterans negatively affected by military service do not have to pay for medications under the VA prescription plan, according to the agency's website. Other veterans have to pay up to $9 for 30-day supplies of prescriptions. Depending on income, some veterans may have $960 caps on their out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions in a calendar year.

VA health care providers prescribe medications from an approved formulary, explains the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To get prescriptions from non-VA providers, veterans must enroll in VA health care and have a VA primary care provider. The VA provider must approve the prescription, and the veteran must obtain non-VA medical records and pass them on to the VA provider.

Veterans can refill their prescriptions and access their prescription history online through the My HealtheVet website, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. After registering for the site and logging in, they can select the pharmacy tab for a list of prescription options. Veterans can also mail a refill notice to obtain refills through the pharmacy mail-out program. At some pharmacies, they can get refills through a toll-free automated telephone number. The VA mail order pharmacy sends out most prescriptions, but veterans can pick up new or urgent prescriptions at VA facility pharmacy windows.

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